What is Receivable Management?
Receivable management, which is one of the important parameters of the capital of companies, comes out of the sales made by the companies. The period between the sale and the collection is called the debt collection period.
The dictionary meaning of the concept of collection appears as "collecting receivables or legally collecting those that are not paid in due time." Receivable management refers to the process of managing buyer relationships and due payments related to receivables-debt that occur in return for a certain service or product. Collection management; It is all the actions that must be taken to ensure that the receivables arising from the sales of the enterprises are realized on time and in a planned manner. The concept of sales and collection is equivalent to each other. If there is no collection, then there is no cost. A sale that has not been collected is not a sale. The concept of the collection is vital for businesses to ensure that businesses comply with the conditions of the current period, grow steadily despite intense competition and that the company can continue its activities.
How to Make Effective Collection Management?
The most effective and fastest collection tool today is the telephone. 80% of the communication related to the collection takes place by phone. The collection process was previously carried out by fax, SMS, or one-on-one meetings. The important point is that if the effect of what is said on the phone is 20%, the effect of how it is said is 80%. Telephone communication etiquette is very important. Attention should be paid to the way of speaking. People have judgments about the personality and character of the person making the collecting speech, starting from the other end of the phone, the manners of speaking, and the tone of voice.
- It is very important to give an opening speech to your client in the right tone of voice. It is always necessary to be polite, to speak briefly, and to be professional.
- You should be prepared for future questions. Being an active listener and addressing the person by name until the end of the interview is one of the important elements.
- By using the tone of voice correctly, it should be tried to create trust in the customer and create loyal customers.
- A more interactive and efficient communication can be established when the character is adapted.
- As Prosoftly, our line in the management of collection processes is to make collections without losing prestige and customers.
- In order to gain reputation, to protect it, and to be successful in not losing customers, there must be a systematic and the negotiation must be done by competent people.
- Attention should be paid to tone of voice and diction. Speaking quickly or quietly can lead to misunderstandings.
- A sweet print should be established. In order for the sweet pressure to take place, one must be persistent, polite, and patient.
- It is very important to have the ability to manage crisis and stress and to develop this ability.
- It is quite wrong to treat the debtor as if he were guilty. It is necessary to communicate without being offended.
- Time should be used well.
- It is very important to be prepared and planned before the negotiation begins.
- The subject must be mastered.
- It is necessary to know and schedule the requested payment.
- Magic words should be known and words that should never be used should not be used. It should not cause misunderstanding.
- Researching and getting to know the company prior to the negotiation is very helpful in conducting an effective collection management. Before speaking, it is necessary to obtain information about who the company is, what it does, what its scales are. Thanks to this information, a road map will be created.
- It is very important to be planned. The time taken to find the necessary information should be spent searching further.
- Notes should be taken while talking on the phone. Since more than one person is spoken to, it is not possible to remember all the details and therefore it will be very convenient to take notes.
What are the Collection Steps?
- The request comes from the customer, the meeting is provided and the offer is prepared. If an agreement is reached, the contract is sent to the customer. After the contract reaches the other party, it is signed by the mutual parties and the start is given.
- Work starts on the date agreed in the contract and then the bill is issued.
- If the company to be collected is new, a call can be made a few days later. The purpose of this search is to know the company, to find out who will be addressed in the collection, to identify the correct and authorized person, and to be informed about the payment plans.
- After reaching the authorized person, the term period written in the contract is notified to the other party.
- Afterward, the payment method of the other party is learned. They are asked about whether they use a check or a credit card when making payments. Thus, the first step is taken to meet.
When the collection starts;
- As a first step, a collection list is drawn from accounting.
- Customers who pay regularly can be grouped into one category. (In order to prevent forgetting, a reminder mail can be sent a day or two in advance.)
- Invoices should be classified according to terms, put in order and searched accordingly. Sorting and sorting will prevent chaos and save time.
- According to the cash flow, the collection search should be started with the high-number invoices in the list.
- The companies to be searched should be divided into groups on a daily basis. In this way, there is no clutter and confusion during the preparation phase. It can be better prepared and negotiated in a more systematic way.
How to Negotiate an Effective Collection on the Phone?
Technically speaking, the borrower's information should be available. Information such as customer information, whether it has been paid on time, the content of the product or service purchased, invoice information, sales type, sales terms, debt amount, payment due, and past maturity period should be kept informed. Speaking should be done in a professional and authoritative manner. Before calling the debtor, one should be prepared technically and mentally for this moment. The effective collection should have a systematic and competent person. Control of the interview should always be kept.
Open-ended questions should be asked to provide maximum information to the borrower. The collector should determine the credit framework. The customer should be addressed by name throughout the interview. Addressing by name indicates that you respect the customer. If possible, the silence on the phone should be managed wisely. In order to manage silence, it is necessary to be familiar with the subjects. This opportunity should not be given to the borrower who tries to raise the blood pressure. Questions should be asked with determination and a clear attitude.
Goal; It should be focused on bringing the issue to pay. Emotions such as anger and anger should be able to be curbed against all negativity. It should be treated as if conducting a face-to-face dialogue with the client. One must be self-confident When self-confidence is established, control over the debtor is ensured. The conversation should not be ended before the end of the negotiation is fixed and a plan is reached. An inconclusive negotiation is a time wasted. Listening effectively is an important point on the road to success. At the end of the day, when you are persistent, determined, clear, and open, the winner is again the one who makes the payment.
When Should the Collection Be Made?
It may not be appropriate to call the customer before 10:00 a.m. Calling in the morning may not be understood positively by the customer, as there is a search for debt.
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Ideal hours for negotiation, persuasion, and pledge to pay.
02:00 p.m. - 03:00 p.m. Those who could not be reached or were previously unavailable can be called again.
04:00 p.m. - 05:00 p.m. It is the second phase of the day.
On a day basis;
Monday and Tuesday: Reminders can be made for customers who pay regularly or it can be planned as a call day for customers with high invoices.
Wednesday: Can be paired. The person conducting the collection meeting can evaluate the plans. Preparations can be made about who and what will be discussed during the rest of the week.
Thursday: Customers who have a smaller invoice amount or who will not force the collector may be on the call day. It is the day to check and call future payments on weekdays.
Friday: It is the main day in the collection process. It should be waited until the time of the promised companies. The promised time is usually in the range (03:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m.) at the latest. If no return is received when the time comes, it is necessary to call again and get a confirmation.
What is a Difficult Customer?
Sometimes it is inevitable to encounter difficult customers. Although difficult customers make up a small part of the customer base, it is very difficult to satisfy and persuade customers. For this reason, it is necessary to determine different strategies for demanding customers. Even if a demanding customer has not yet been encountered, it should be taken into account that this may happen one day. Difficult customer encounter situations should be anticipated and prepared beforehand. Important points in the collection process are as follows;
- Dignity should not be lost.
- The style of speech should not be distorted.
- The focus should be on speaking.
- Previous performances of customers with a background should be taken into account.
- Experiences must be blended.
- It should not be angry. Anger blocks solutions, makes you forget about competencies, and draws a veil in the eye.
Good communication with everyone may not be established. It is necessary to understand the psychology of the debtor. One should be empathetic and professional. One needs to be polite, use an appropriate tone of voice, and move forward with empathy with nervous calming phrases. The other party should be made aware that the debt is being followed patiently and without despair. The negotiation should be prepared without haste, otherwise, a situation that would not happen could be accidentally said "yes". When you say "yes" to a wrong situation, it becomes very difficult to compensate.
In the collection process, difficult customers are divided into 2;
1) Customers who have the power to pay and do not want to pay
- Such customers have a variety of excuses. Expressing his dissatisfaction with the product and service, he tries to attribute the reason for non-payment to the company. When faced with a customer who has the power to pay and does not want to pay, it is necessary to listen first. It is necessary to respectfully acknowledge that what he says will be taken into account. Afterward, the issue and the customer should be focused on repayment.
- Emphasis should be placed on the urgency of the issue.
- One should not be afraid of angry customers who yell and beckon the collector. It should be cool. If there is only shouting and calling during the conversation, it should be stated that there is no way to travel in this way and that instant phone should be turned off. The same person should be called again afterward in order to keep the process under control without too much pause. If “We're fighting with this person. He screams and shouts at me. How can I negotiate? " and if this difficult customer is not sought for a long time, the collection will never be realized. Therefore, the process should never be interrupted.
- If the borrower does not fulfill its commitment, the concern about the consequences should be made to the borrower.
- It should be noted that the customer forced the person making the collection to initiate legal proceedings. Lawyer, file costs, maturity difference, etc. Emphasis should be placed on such issues. If this emphasis is not made, the customer does not give the necessary importance and forgets immediately.
- The only action that should not be done is the threat. It can result in unpleasant bad situations.
2) Customers Who Cannot Pay Because of Not Having the Power to Pay
- It should be acted according to the delay period of the customer. The alternatives to be submitted to a call made in the early delay period and a late payment are not the same.
- After listening to the situation and the subject thoroughly, it should be learned where and why the problem is caused. By considering certain criteria and offering different payment options that will facilitate payment, the customer can breathe comfortably.
- When an eligible payment is offered, it should be noted that this is a specific plan for them and that the initiative is taken. The other party should be made aware that the problem can be solved.
- The customer, who clearly feels privileged on himself, will prioritize the collection payment when the cash flow improves. As a result of positive communication and problem-solving, when the company needs something about a subject, it will again choose the company that offers it a privilege.
There is no magic formula that will work in every collection process. A borrower is not like another borrower. Methods that worked on a borrower named X might not work on a borrower named Y. While creating a style, one should not enter into a different role and identity. It must be treated as it is. The debtor should be well listened to and clues should be sought to find a solution to the situation. That's why active listening is so important. The collection period also provides information about the efficiency of the company. The cash shortage to be experienced afterward can be predicted and early solutions can be produced.
Success in effective collection is directly proportional to education, competence and experience. When the collection process becomes unbearable, support can be obtained from someone with more experience or the matter can be transferred to managers.
How to Manage Stress in Collection?
Work should be started by wearing a collection apron. Just as a doctor, teacher, greengrocer wears an apron before starting his job, the collector should wear his apron in the same way. Take deep breaths and sit up straight. The more comfortable you sit, the better the collection process can be managed. One should be as alone as possible, that is, nobody else should be around. During a negotiation, any person, object, or incident that might cause distraction should be avoided. Providing a comfortable place where sounds will not interfere can make the collector feel more comfortable. There is a specific target in the collection process. It is necessary to reach that goal efficiently and effectively.
Planning, organizing, directing, and controlling the resources available is called managing. Here, too, realizing effective collection and risk management is in the hands of the person responsible for the collection process. What is spoken or said should not be personalized, otherwise, demoralization may result. Emotions must be restrained. If the other party has feelings of helplessness, a motivational conversation should be made with this person. The tone of voice should be adjusted. It should not be spoken in a very loud or very low tone of voice. The tone of voice determines the fate of the conversation. When feeling nervous and nervous, a break should be taken.
Continuing to talk under stress is not effective, on the contrary, communication ties with the customer may be broken. All preparations must be made before starting. If all the information about the customer sought is obtained, there will be no stress because they are ready to answer any questions to be asked. Since you will have answers to all questions when you are prepared, you can feel more comfortable. There is no need to stress when you have the equipment to manage a crisis that may arise. It is very important to have a positive way of thinking. Every call should be started with a smiling face and high performance as if making the first call. Borrowers should be assumed to be ready to pay each time they are called.
However, it should not be forgotten that the sought person can offer countless excuses to the person making the payment. You should be prepared for all kinds of excuses. Even if people in debt are very decent people, they may exhibit unusual conversations or behaviors with psychology during the collection process. Words can be counted one after the other, blood pressure may rise or the tone of voice may increase. At this point, empathy is very important. In the collection process, if the customer is in a bad situation to get no results, the meeting should be terminated without further ado. Entering a conversation that will not produce results will be both meaningless and stressful. Sometimes there is an unpleasant feeling from the voice of the customers. It can be said that it is not the right time for communication and the conversation can be ended without putting the subject in the collection. When the client has negative emotions, the conversation becomes inefficient and unnecessary.
It should not be forgotten that the debtor is a person and the creditor is a person. As Prosoftly, our perspective in receivables management is "Reputation and collection without losing customers is real collection. in the form.
What are the Key Points in Receivables Management?
All information about the payment must be readily available in front of the collector. Thanks to the information, incoming questions can be answered in a timely and correct manner.
Previous speeches should be reviewed. As a result of this examination, unfulfilled promises can be prevented.
Sentences should be made without leaving style and adaptation.
Make sure that the right person is spoken to so that no time is wasted.
The customer should be treated in a polite manner. The person should not feel guilty.
It should be known and followed up about when, when, for which service or product a payment is requested.
It is very important to empathize. It is up to the person managing the collection process to understand the customer's mood and decide whether to continue the negotiation.
It is necessary to think quickly and offer useful suggestions based on the current situation of the customer in cash flow.
Solution-oriented approach and active listening
It is necessary to proceed by asking easy and understandable questions without overpowering, repeating, boring, and overwhelming the customer.
Using time correctly
The timely and fast collection of trade receivables makes the company strong against its competitors. If you start by making a plan and program, fast receivable management will be realized.